Information for Montana's Tourism Industry

Montana Tourism & Recreation Strategic Plan 2013-2017

Welcome to the Montana Tourism & Recreation Strategic Plan home page.  

In the listings below you have access to the high level goals and strategies the Montana Tourism & Recreation Partnership is using as a "road map" for their efforts to continue tourism and recreation's positive contributions to Montana's economy and community well-being.


The plan is the result of more than nine months of discussion, comments, review and refinement by tourism stakeholders across the state. The plan was facilitated and produced by Julie & Jim Cerenzia of Open Window Consulting of Bozeman. They held more than 30 public meetings across the state involving over 300 Montanans as well as receiving on-line comments throughout the process from hundreds more.

This is the fifth in a series of statewide strategic plans developed since 1991 that have provided the framework for the Montana Tourism Industry's success.

Menu of Download Choices

  • Complete plan (click here)
  • Executive Summary & Introduction - an overview and introduction to the plan's three high-level goals and five high level strategies (click here)
  • Individual High Level Strategies and recommended ┬áStrategic Actions (listed below)
  • Individual recommended Strategic Actions (listed below)
  • Appendix A - a checklist to help Small Businesses and Organizations use the plan (listed below)
  • Appendix B - a checklist to help Communities and Tribes use the plan (listed below)
  • Appendix C - Montana Tourism & Recreation Charger and Principles (listed below)

We're hoping these choices provide you flexibility in accessing the particular parts of the plan that are most useful to you now and in the future. 

Montana Tourism & Recreation Strategic Plan, 2013-2017

Strategy 1:  Make Montana’s Spectacular Unspoiled Nature Real, Tangible, and Accessible to the Visitor

1.1.Establish icons of “spectacular unspoiled nature” throughout Montana
1.2. Integrate public lands more fully and functionally into tourism information
1.3. Present natural assets in an experiential manner
1.4. Participate in planning processes for public lands management

Strategy 2:  Highlight and Help Develop Vibrant and Charming Small Towns throughout Montana

2.1. Highlight Montana’s vibrant and charming small towns
2.2. Highlight the most charming and desirable elements of each community
2.3. Evaluate and pursue essential local wayfinding solutions
2.4. Improve the curb appeal of towns
2.5. Support local and Montana products and businesses to build economically vibrant towns
2.6. Develop and sustain special events that tie in with local tourism assets
2.7. Expand tourism seasons through local coordination
2.8. Address the short- to long-term effects of the Bake oil boom for tourism

Strategy 3:  Integrate nature and towns to offer and deliver a balance of “breathtaking experiences” and “relaxing hospitality”

3.1. Present each town in the context of its surroundings
3.2. Present a balanced and cohesive visitor experience throughout all marketing and visitor information
3.3. Present a seamless and borderless visitor experience in all visitor information
3.4. Build excitement about Montana among niche market enthusiasts
3.5. Build and expand photo and video libraries

Strategy 4: Meet the information and infrastructure needs of Montana’s visitors

4.1. Conduct ongoing research and analysis of evolving best practices for delivering visitor information
4.2. Design Online and mobile communication tools to meet the evolving needs of visitors
4.3. Stay current with social media tools to ensure effective interaction and relationship building with visitors
4.4. Provide printed materials that are useful to the visitor and cost effective for the marketing organization
4.5. Offer itinerary ideas and traveler tips to help visitors structure their plans
4.6. Support efforts to increase air service to Montana
4.7. Address infrastructure needs to support tourism and recreation

Strategy 5: Provide support for Montana’s tourism industry

5.1. Strengthen strategic guidance, communication, and coordination of the Montana tourism industry
5.2. Improve skills, knowledge, and professionalism of tourism stakeholders
5.3. Expand distribution and use of key insights from research and analysis
5.4. Make Montana tourism seamless and orderless
5.5. Manage and leverage electronic word-of-mouth
5.6. Make the Montana tourism industry a leader in Online community marketing and use of customer advocates
5.7. Continue to carry out consumer marketing and media relations to attract non-resident visitors
5.8. Evaluate and target group and international markets
5.9. Continue to promote Montana as a competitive, creative, and viable filming location
5.10. Carry out public relations and media relations to build respect for the tourism industry
5.11. Continue to provide financial and technical support for tourism projects.

Appendix A: Guidance for Small Businesses & Organizations

Appendix B: Guidance for Communities & Tribes

Appendix C: Montana Tourism & Recreation Charter and Principles


If you have questions, comments or want more information, contact Victor Bjornberg, Montana Office of Tourism,, 406-841-2795.